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Building for Life

Building for Life is the national standard for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods.

Building for Life promotes design excellence and celebrates best practice in the house building industry through the Building for Life awards. Good quality housing design can improve social wellbeing and quality of life by reducing crime, improving public health, easing transport problems and increasing property values.

The 20 Building for Life criteria embody our vision of functional, attractive and sustainable housing. They cover:

  • environment and the community
  • character
  • streets, parking and pedestrianisation
  • design and construction.

Building for Life assessments

Building for Life assessments measure the design quality of new housing developments using the 20 criteria.  Anyone can make an informal assessment of a housing development but formal assessments can only be made by an accredited Building for Life assessor.

We are setting up a nationwide network of 500 accredited assessors, with local authorities and government organisations increasingly using Building for Life to assess housing design quality at the pre-planning stage. We also used the 20 criteria as the basis for our national housing audit.

Building for Life awards

The Building for Life awards celebrate well-designed housing projects and neighbourhoods in England. They are given annually to new projects that demonstrate a commitment to high design standards, good place-making, and sustainable development.

Building for Life videos

The 20 criteria explained

If you cannot see the video(s) below go to www.cabe.org.uk/redirects/videos

Walkthrough of Accordia

If you cannot see the video(s) below go to www.cabe.org.uk/redirects/videos